December 15, 1995. The day my dad died from the evil grips of cancer. He was a young 49 years old. He worked hard all his life and raised a wonderful family (me, my brother and sister) and sadly lost his battle after 3 months of chemo and radiation. He was diagnosed stage 4 cancer in September 1995 with lung, liver and bone cancer. He did the chemo and radiation for comfort purposes. We cherished each moment we had with him, especially after his diagnosis.
My dad loved to go fishing out at Bush wildlife ponds. He loved to go camping down in Lesterville MO at Riversedge campgrounds and Twin Rivers campgrounds. He loved to get his lawn chair and cooler and go sit in the river to watch the drunks float by to the smiley face. Riversedge was the stop sign b4 the smiley face on the Black River floating. We used to go canoeing many many times on that same river when I was a youngster. I loved going fishing with him too.
The night he died in our home we grew up in, neighbors, friends and family came over to our house and we built a bonfire in our backyard. Yes, in the City of St. Louis in Shaw neighborhood. He did not want us to grieve his death, but to party and have fun like he would have wanted us to at a regular party. Celebrate his life he had and remember the good times we had. We did that. In fact, the local police department officers we knew joined in with us at the bonfire.
A plaque My dad had hanging in the kitchen in our house over on Flad Ave read:
I'd rather be fishing.
I can see him now, perched back in his lawn chair, cooler of beer at his side, rod and reel in the river fishing for catfish while still watching the drunk floaters going down the river. I will always see him like this. Happy and enjoying his time of relaxation.
I love you dad and I still miss you so much. Julia will get to know you by pictures and your fun camping stories I will tell her. She will be proud of her paw-paw.
I'll try and scan a picture of him later and post it.
I FUCKING HATE CANCER